Friday, November 11, 2016

Take Back The Narrative

Bernice Reagon

This is a time for action, for words of fire, for all of us thinking and acting together to find a way out of no way.

I’ve been in a rage. I’ve been crying and trembling, walking around in a daze. I’ve been grieving. Like everybody else I know. I have scrolled through Facebook, taking in the love, the anguish, the insight, the rage, the hope.

I washed and conditioned my hair with hot oil. I biked for two hours up into the hills.

I scrolled around obsessively for the answers, hoping to find the reasons for this tragedy, the answers to a nightmare. Finally, I realized what I was really looking for in every article and post was the miracle that would make it all better. I realized I wasn’t going to find the miracle answers. I’d have to make the answers, conjure miracles with all of my communities, with the majority of the electorate who voted for Hillary or someone other than Trump.

I wrote and called my friends. My friends called to check on me. Friends from Germany sent emails. I received meditations, dances, images for self-care.

I read eloquent essays and personal stories. I did not feel alone in my grief.

I resisted feeling that what I do is pointless. I am on sabbatical and two of my students emailed, asking if I was all right. They said they missed me and the classes I teach—where they and other students can feel safe as they challenge their minds and spirits, as they learn how to invent the future they want. I cried reading their note. How did they know this was just what I needed?

I offered love and support wherever I could. Timmi Duchamp asked me to write this blog. I agreed.

Many offered immediate and long term actions to take:

Friends said they would help Transgender folks with paperwork

The NRDC pledged to keep standing with Standing Rock.

100 women of color leaders (#our100) asked us to affirm our unity, and together recommit to continue our work towards this promise of liberty and justice for all.

The Union of Concerned Scientists asked us to work to keep science as a critical foundation for public policy.

The Sierra Club said we won’t stop fighting.

The ACLU said see you in court.

Michael Moore offered to-do lists on Facebook. said let’s get together with folks and make the revolution.

18Million reminded us that the number of women of color in the Senate quadrupled and we should support them.

Jezabel offered a list of organizations that could use our help.

And remember—the majority of the electorate voted for Hillary or someone other than Trump. Hillary won the popular vote. Let’s get a hold of the narrative.

Many artists wondered if what they do is significant—particularly in the face of the horror, why write magic or science fiction? Who wants to read our stories?

We, the people, your communities, we need your stories, your music, your insights, your dances, your films! Artists must not feel that what they do is insignificant.

Folks said they were too old for this and then talked about all they were going to do! So, offer shelter, be a shield, organize, fight like hell, write a book, have everybody’s back like they have yours. Do whatever you can do and go ahead and be cranky and too old for this shit!

I also saw folks saying Clinton failed to energize Black folks, Latinx, and the young (CNN for example.) And there have been numerous complaint articles and outrage posts at the white woman who voted for Trump rather than Hillary.

They (those who are not the majority of the electorate who voted for Hillary or someone other than Trump) want us fussing and cussing and blaming the black people who didn’t show up for Hillary like they did for Obama, or the college educated white women who voted for a racist/misogynist who’d like to grab their pussy if its cute, or the Latinax who voted more for xenophobe Trump than they did for Romney, or for the gay Republicans for whatever they are doing. All the while giving a pass to the white men (college educated or not) who voted for a white supremacist narcissist whose followers chant I hate Muslims, kill the bitch, fuck the nigger, gas the Jews.

This is the same pass too many have been giving to Trump all along: he’s racist, but you can hold your nose and vote for him because he’ll give us jobs. He hates women, Mexicans, disabled people, queers, Jews—but that’s not important, ‘cause he’ll fix the economy.

Don’t be derailed. Don’t be distracted. Let’s control the narrative.

We should expect as much from the (grown ass) white men who voted for Trump as we do from everyone else. Grown ass white men shouldn’t get an academy award for being reasonable or a pass when they’re pushing their horror as usual reality down our throats.

We don’t have time to waste or people to waste. We can’t throw away the black folks who did vote for Hillary because of the black folks who didn’t! Ditto the white women and the young people who voted for Hillary.

We need to do all those things that everybody has be writing and talking about together.

We have to fight for the women in the Senate, together.

We have to support each other’s work together.

We have to stand up to lies together.

We need to be shields for whomever we can, together.

We need to take back the narrative together.

Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? 

1 comment:

Nina said...

Beauty. Thank you, Andrea. Beauty.